Colored pencil drawing of a male Ruby-throated Hummingbird at a honeysuckle plant. Click for a larger view.
Yeah, I haven’t blogged since May. Yeah, I haven’t really worked on my website since May. In fact, I just haven’t done much BIRDING since May, and no photography to speak of. I took on some projects this summer that took FAR longer than I anticipated, and generally have kept busy with other activities. It’s not the best timing, given that summer has come and gone and we’re now moving towards the cold, relatively birdless hell that typifies a South Dakota winter. However, after a break, I’m getting back into the swing of things with the website, photography, and…even drawing.
I wish I were more motivated to draw. I enjoy the outcome, but admit that drawing to me sometimes seems like a chore, rather than a fun activity. There are 3 competing personality characteristics that come into play when it comes to drawing: 1) a lack of patience, 2) a desire to finish an activity quickly, and 3) a bit of a perfectionist streak. That’s not a great combination of attributes when it comes to drawing, as ideally, I’d be able to draw something very quickly, yet have it be of relatively high quality. As I’ve improved in my drawing over the years (at least I’d like to think I have improved!), I find that I’m going slower and am more meticulous in trying to capture all the details in a bird. Therein lies the comment about drawing sometimes seeming like a “chore”….I just can’t finish quickly any more, and I get tired of drawing after a little bit.
I did recently have a free Saturday, with no family around and no real tasks on my plate. After about a 1 1/2 year hiatus, I did drag out the pencils. Given that we are transitioning into fall, I thought I’d commemorate my long photography-, bird-, and blogging-free summer by drawing my favorite summer yard visitor, a Ruby-throated Hummingbird. It’s usually around May 7th when they first show up in my yard, with males typically the first to arrive. We’re on the very edge of their breeding range, but they do clearly breed here, as I have them around all summer, and by early July, I inevitably start seeing juvenile hummingbirds in the yard. By mid-August, i typically stop seeing males, but young and female hummingbirds are still very frequent yard visitors. Numbers slowly trend down from there, and by the last week of September, I’ve typically seen my last Hummingbird for the year.
I’ve done all of our landscaping myself, and have planted a number of items that attract hummingbirds. However, their favorite plants are the multiple honeysuckles we have in the yard. My favorite Ruby-throated Hummingbird photo is of a beautiful male, hovering in front of a honeysuckle blossom in our yard. This drawing is a nod to that photo.
I admit that as is typical, my patience was wearing thin as I worked on this one. I spent about 5 hours drawing the hummingbird itself. It’s always the bird itself that I enjoy drawing the most. I never am fond about putting in other elements, such as the honeysuckle blooms here. Thus, after about 5 hours of working on the bird, I admit I rushed through the drawing of the honeysuckle. Once again, while I was generally pleased with how the bird itself turned out, by the end I just wanted to be DONE, and drawing had turned into a chore.
Which means it will probably be another 1 1/2 years before you see me post another drawing out here. 🙂